How to Use Find Command on Bash Script

Find Command on Bash Script

In the realm of Bash scripting, the Find command stands as a stalwart tool, wielding its exceptional prowess to navigate and locate files and directories with remarkable precision. Its versatile capabilities make it an invaluable asset for developers, administrators, and anyone navigating the intricate landscapes of file systems. This comprehensive guide unveils the intricacies of the Find command, offering insightful strategies, practical examples, and best practices to harness its potential with finesse.

Understanding the Find Command

The heart of the matter lies in comprehending the essence of the Find command. At its core, this command serves as a search engine for your file system, meticulously scanning through directories and revealing the treasures they hold. Let’s delve into its key features and options to unravel its full potential.

What is the Find Command?

The Find command, a stalwart of Bash scripting, serves as a vigilant seeker traversing the file system. It meticulously scans directories, scrutinizing every nook and cranny to unearth the files and directories that match the specified criteria. The power it wields lies in its ability to execute complex queries, making it an indispensable companion for those seeking order within the file chaos.

Basic Usage

Key Features and Options

In the arsenal of the Find command, an array of options empowers users to tailor their searches with surgical precision. As we embark on our journey through its features, let’s explore some pivotal options that shape its functionality:

Finding Files by Name

When seeking a needle in the haystack of files, the -name option serves as a beacon of hope. By wielding wildcard characters like * and ?, you can craft queries that embrace flexibility. To grasp this, consider the following:

find /home/user/documents -name "report*.txt"

Filtering by File Type

In the intricate tapestry of file systems, the -type option emerges as a versatile filter, segregating files by their essence. Unleash it to traverse different terrains:

find /var/log -type f -name "*.log"

Navigating by File Size

The -size option equips you with the ability to decipher files based on their dimensions. Traverse size spectra with ease:

find /data -type f -size +1M

Advanced Techniques

Time-based Searches with -mtime

Files evolve over time and the -mtime option stands as a guardian of chronology. Chart a course through the time continuum:

find /backup -type f -mtime -7

Executing Commands on Results

The -exec option imparts the power to wield actions upon the found files. Watch as the command orchestrates balletic maneuvers:

find /downloads -type f -name "*.zip" -exec mv {} /backup \;

Combining Conditions

Embrace the art of combining conditions using logical operators like -and and -or. It’s akin to orchestrating a symphony of criteria:

find /home/user -type f -name "*.jpg" -or -name "*.png"

Practical Examples

  • Example Finding Recently Modified Files

Step 1: Create a Bash script named

Step 2: Populate the script with the following code:

find /data -type f -mtime -7

Step 3: Make the script executable:

chmod +x

Step 4: Execute the script to find files modified within the last week:

  • Example Cleaning Up Temp Files

Step 1: Create a Bash script named

Step 2: Add the following lines to the script:

find /tmp -type f -name "temp_*" -mtime +30 -exec rm {} \;

Step 3: Make the script executable:

chmod +x

Step 4: Run the script to remove temporary files older than 30 days:


Best Practices

Using find with Caution

While the find command holds the key to taming the file wilderness, remember that wielding the -exec option can be a double-edged sword. Always double-check your commands before executing them en masse.

Optimal Directory Scope

Begin your search from specific directories to optimize performance. This strategy not only reduces the scope of the search but also expedites the process, ensuring timely results.


Armed with the knowledge bestowed within these digital pages, you stand poised to conquer the intricate mazes of file systems with finesse. The Find command, a stalwart in the realm of Bash scripting, transforms the daunting task of locating files into a graceful ballet of precision and power. Let its capabilities unfurl in your scripts, leading you to newfound levels of efficiency and mastery. As you venture forth, remember that the path to true proficiency is paved with experimentation and curiosity. Harness the Find command, and with it, the world of Bash scripting becomes your canvas of creation.


r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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